Detoxing our body doesn’t need to involve a drastic diet or cleanse. Instead, we can support our body’s own natural, detoxification processes by consuming foods that have cleansing properties.
Foods that help our body to detoxify will reduce inflammation, boost our immune system, remove heavy metals that burden our body, remove toxins, increase our energy levels, detoxify our liver, and help us to maintain our optimum weight.
It is what we do everyday that makes a real difference to our health. By including a variety of cleansing foods into our diet on a daily basis we can drastically improve our health. Try incorporating the following into your diet:
1. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy green vegetables are full of nutrients and contain an abundance of minerals and vitamins that are involved in creating detox enzymes — for example B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and vitamins K, C and E. Leafy greens are also an excellent source of fiber that is needed to help remove toxins from the body via the bowel.
2. Brown Seaweed
Sea vegetables are a rich source of iodine, potassium and enzymes. Brown seaweeds in particular contain compounds called alginates. Alginates bind to toxins and heavy metals in the digestive tract so they can be eliminated. Importantly, brown seaweeds are able to remove these toxins without upsetting the body’s natural mineral balance, and they provide a very safe, gentle and effective detox for the body.
Brown seaweed is known as Fucus vesiculosus or bladderwrack and it is often used in Asian cooking. However, if you don’t like the taste, it is also available as a natural supplement.
Beets contain high amounts of betaine, which is necessary for proper liver function — the liver is the organ responsible for filtering and detoxifying our blood. Betaine promotes the regeneration of liver cells and helps to increase bile flow — bile is vital for the digestion of fats and for flushing out toxins.
By supporting the liver, your body is able to effectively remove toxins and purify your blood.
Apples are an excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that binds to heavy metals and toxins in the body and eliminates them through the bowel. Granny Smith apples are particularly high in pectin. However, make sure to eat organic apples to maximize the benefits and reduce further exposure to toxins.
Asparagus contains antioxidant nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, manganese and selenium. Importantly, asparagus contains high levels of the detoxifying compound glutathione — the body’s master detoxifier and a potent antioxidant. Boosting the body’s intake of glutathione will naturally support and enhance detoxification. Lightly cooked or raw asparagus offers the most benefits as cooking can deplete glutathione levels.
Garlic is a rich source of sulfur, a mineral that aids the body in eliminating toxins. Raw garlic contains the highest levels of sulfur. However, if you prefer not to consume large amounts of raw garlic you can buy garlic as a natural supplement. Keep in mind that cooking with garlic is still highly beneficial as it has also been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
This cleansing herb has the ability to remove heavy metal toxins from the body. This is because cilantro is a natural chelator that mobilizes mercury and other toxins deep within the tissues. It is most effective when combined with a powerful detox agent like brown seaweed that can bind to toxins in the digestive tract and remove them via the bowel.
The nutrient rich leaves of the artichoke contain two phytonutrients— cynarin and silymarin — that aid in liver detoxification. Cynarin is an antioxidant that helps the liver to produce bile and flush out toxins. Silymarin is a flavonoid that helps to protect and regenerate liver cells. Silymarin is also found in high amounts in Milk Thistle.
Consuming a variety of cleansing foods on a regular basis can support healthy liver function and aid in the detoxification of heavy metals and harmful toxins. Our diet forms the foundation for our health and detoxing our body has never been easier or tastier.